Domain Name Whois Data – ICANN’s Big Stick

Judy VedderWebsite Hosting

If you own a domain name then you have received email in the past asking you to update your Domain Name Whois data. Many of us have ignored these message and nothing has happened. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (and/or the associated ccTLD authority) has decided that it no longer wants to be ignored and they have implemented Whois Accuracy Specification, which will suspend or even delete your account if you do not verify or update you information.

I recently had a client who had her domain name suspended because she had not responded to her Whois email. The suspension caused a large ICANN domain suspension page to be displayed instead of her website. On the suspension notice page she could enter a code, which was displayed on the page, to resend the Whois verification notice to the email address listed as the domain Registrant in the current Whois data. Thankfully, her email address was correct and current, she received the message, she verified her data and her website was back up in a matter of seconds.  If you find that this process does not work for you, potentially because the Registrant email  address is no longer correct, there is a Whois Service Complaint Form that might assist you.

My recommendation to avoid a suspended or deleted domain name is:

  1. log into your domain name account and make sure that you Registrant email address is correct
  2. do not ignore ICANN’s request, or you domain provider’s request, to update your Whois data. ICANN is carrying a big stick and they are not afraid to use it!